How To Get Over Him

We put your advice to the test.

We’ve all received bad advice from well-meaning friends and family. We asked the fun, fearless forum for advice on surviving a breakup, and got the experts to tell us what they think about it.

Fun Fearless Female No. 1 – Sian
‘I’d say shed your tears, dust yourself off, put on that outfit that’ll make you feel so good, and face the world! We all need time indeed, but then again, time waits for no one. Asking what went wrong will only lead to more questions. Realise that not everyone was meant to be together. I think you’ll get to see how incompatible you were in the end.’

‘Sian’s advice revolves around getting back into the swing of things. There’s nothing wrong with that, but perhaps there’s merit to taking time to reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself and the kind of partner who’ll work for you in the future. Every meaningful encounter with another person can give you better insight into yourself and how to treat yourself in the best possible way. Asking what went wrong, and answering all the questions can help you choose the best possible partner in future and save you from a troubled relationship. If you can’t find that insight, perhaps see a psychologist who can help you learn from the experience. I agree with Sian that not every couple is meant to be together for the long haul; some relationships are only there to teach you something that you need for your journey.’
–  Dr. Janne Dannerup, Johannesburg-based psychologist

Fun Fearless Female No. 2 – Foxy
‘What I did was avoid seeing my ex, and I went out more to get him off my mind. Unfortunately, I started eating to console myself and gained about 12kg! Thankfully, I lost it after I exercised and changed my diet. I would say give yourself some time, go out with friends, and do things you never got around to doing when you were in the relationship. Exercise, stay in shape, and don’t obsess about "what ifs". For me, time is what healed. I took a break from guys and focused on completing my studies.’

‘Staying focused is great advice. Overeating and obsessing is definitely not the answer. I would suggest that going out and having fun with friends can be useful, but don’t be out and about all the time. It’s important to have time to yourself to get over the relationship in your own space.’
– Dr. Tanya Robinson, Johannesburg-based psychologist

Fun Fearless Female No. 3 – Lonely_33
‘I have just had a breakup of a 17-year relationship, and I am still trying to get over him. What has helped me is spending time with the people who still matter in my life, over-indulging in chocolates and watching chick flicks. It hurts like hell, but I keep reminding myself that there is someone out there who will love me for who I am again. I must just be patient. The hurt eventually goes away.’

‘It’s great that Lonely_33 doesn’t live in a lock-up-and-stay apartment and surrounds herself with meaningful and positive people. She doesn’t give herself a rejection injection and knows she’s special and that sometime soon someone else will discover it. Chocolate is good medication, but like all things, it should only be taken for a limited time, then the dosage must be brought down! It’s good that you’re staying positive amidst real pain. Positive energy attracts people – the right people.’
– Fanie Pretorius, Pretoria-based Life Coach

Fun, Fearless Female No. 4 – Siri
‘First, accept that it has happened. This is hard – especially in the beginning. Then cry him out of your system. With my most recent break up I had no idea I had so many tears in me! Talk it over with your girlfriends – a problem shared is a problem halved. Keep busy – there is nothing like a new project to keep your mind off him. Avoid contact until you are in control of your emotions. Remember, no matter how much it hurts, you will get over it.’

‘Siri’s advice is really good, since she includes all the relevant ingredients for rebuilding your life and self-esteem. Crying is a good way to accept, express and then dissipate an emotion. Emotions that aren’t acknowledged tend to keep intensifying and make you reactive and emotionally erratic. Even after unexpressed emotions seem to have subsided, you may find that they lie submerged in your subconscious and cause you to react in undesirable ways. Connecting with friends helps you to realise that everyone goes through tough times. After expressing your feelings, do as Siri suggests, and busy yourself with activities that help you move forward in life. I can only agree with Siri that you stay away from your ex. You need to distance yourself to begin realising that the image in your head is no longer who he or your relationship is and was. Don’t ever force a relationship, if this one isn’t happening it’s because there’s something better waiting for you.’
–  Dr. Janne Dannerup, Johannesburg-based psychologist

Fun Fearless Female No. 5 – AngeL_StaR
‘Call your girls and have a great night out with them. You’ve probably spent most of the day thinking about your ex anyway, so give your mind a bit of a break from the dismal company it’s keeping and blow off some steam on the dance floor, over a few glasses of wine, or anything that will allow you not to think of the break up. Get rid of your frustrations and sadness while working out at the gym; not only will it help you forget, your body will also reap the benefits. The feel-good endorphins will kick in, plus you’ll look amazing. There’s nothing better than seeing your ex’s face when he sees you again, knowing he’s thinking "How could I have left her?! What was I thinking?!" But most importantly, don’t forget to cry – if it bottles up it’ll break you down. However, don’t let the tears and sadness overwhelm you – never let anyone or situation define who you are. You had a life before him, and you’re sure as hell going to have one after he’s gone! And finally, a quote from the late Aaliyah: "If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again".’

‘AngeL_StaR offers good advice – get up, move on and face life. It’s very important to experience different phases, especially the sad and angry phase. But after you’ve cried, focus on positive things such as exercise, good friends or your job. Some like to watch sad, girly movies or listen to romantic, sad songs – this won’t help you focus on the positive energy that will help you to move on with your life.’
– Dr. Tanya Robinson, Johannesburg-based psychologist

Fun Fearless Female No. 6 – Anon2
‘I don’t listen to any music that reminds me of him until I am completely over him. I throw away all the stuff that reminds me of him, for example: photos and shirts he left with me. Do not contact him at all – if he tries to phone you, don’t answer!! And always remember – you broke up for a reason, if that reason involved one of you cheating – then ultimately let it be.’

‘This advice is a bit extreme; however, it will help to get him out of your space. Don’t get rid of the things you really like or that was given to you when things were great between the two of you. Photos and shirts can go, but a special painting or jewellery should make you feel good – focus on what you like, not on who gave it to you. Also, only contact him if you need to clarify certain issues or get closure on something specific. Moving on means moving on alone…’
– Dr. Tanya Robinson, Johannesburg-based psychologist

So it seems the advice is unanimous. Have a good cry, reflect on what went wrong and what you can learn from the experience, but then pick yourself up again by cherishing the relationships you still have, get some exercise and stay positive – the right person will come along some day.